LOS ANGELES — A preliminary hearing in former Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford’s criminal corruption case was postponed for a second time Monday to May 28.

Ledford faces five felony counts in the case in which he and two co-defendants are accused of con­spir­ing to embezzle hundreds of thous­ands of dollars in NASA funds from a Palmdale-based nonprofit edu­ca­tional organization the co-de­fendants ran.

Prosecutors allege Ledford was paid $60,000 a year without per­forming any substantial work for the organization, the AERO Institute.

Ledford pleaded not guilty to the charges on Aug. 22, more than a year after the charges were initially filed June 21, 2017, as the arraignment was postponed six times. Additional charges were filed in January 2018.

The preliminary hearing, in which a judge will determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a trial, was first scheduled for Oct. 10, but postponed until Monday.

His co-defendants, former AERO In­stitute executive director Susan Mil­ler and former AERO Institute pres­i­dent and city consultant Kim­ber­ly Shaw, also pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Ledford was charged originally with criminal conspiracy, with con­flict of interest in voting in 2012 to award a seven-year city contract worth up to $3.9 million to Shaw and with three counts of perjury for allegedly failing to report income from the institute on financial disclosure statements.

In January 2018, an ad­ditional misdemeanor charge was filed against Led­ford, accusing him of using an official position for personal gain.

The amended complaint accuses him of voting in 2016 to sell the build­ing con­taining the Palm­dale and An­telope Val­ley His­pan­ic cham­ber of com­merce offices to the in­sti­tute, which pros­e­cu­tors say was secretly paying him more than $60,000 a year.

Shaw, a Yorba Linda res­i­dent, and Miller, of Las Vegas, were charged or­ig­in­ally with con­spir­acy, grand theft by embezzlement of pub­lic funds and mis­ap­pro­pri­ation of public funds.

In January 2018, ad­di­tional charges were filed against Shaw saying she failed to disclose on AERO Institute tax forms for the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 tax years that the institute paid her con­sult­ing company more than $100,000 in 2012, more than $150,000 in 2013, more than $150,000 in 2014 and more than $150,000 in 2015.

According to the original criminal complaint filed by the DA’s office, Shaw was a paid consultant to the AERO Institute, first under the name Shaw and Associates and then, start­ing in March 2013, as RL&M Management. RL&M Management was paid $12,581.67 monthly by the institute, or $150,980 a year.

Based on payment amounts alleged in the in­itial criminal complaint, Led­ford was paid ap­prox­im­ately $500,000 be­tween August 2009 and Sep­tem­ber 2014 through Miller’s companies, whose income the complaint said came al­most entirely from the in­stit­ute, and between Sep­tember 2014 and May directly from the institute.

Miller’s companies re­ceived more than $821,000 be­tween August 2009 and Sep­tember 2014 from the in­sti­tute, according to pay­ment amounts alleged in the initial criminal com­plaint.

The total amount paid to Shaw’s companies could not be calculated from the crim­inal complaint, which does not say when she began receiving payments from the institute, but the amount was at least $629,000 between March 2013 and June 2017, ac­cord­ing to the initial com­plaint.

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